News

Sexting teens fail to realise far reaching consequences

INVESTIGATING offences relating to sexting is becoming an all too familiar reality for Gladstone's Child Protection Investigation Unit.

The unit, currently investigating a case where 20 girls aged 12 and 13 from Toolooa State High School sent graphic images of themselves to a Year 8 boy, said the ease with which pictures could be sent meant the consequences were often immeasurable.

Phones seized as police investigate sexting pics at school

Sexting is defined as sending nude or semi-nude photos by mobile phone, or posting sexual images on social networking sites.

Police say the greatest consequence lost on many victims with regard to sexting is that any image forwarded means the sender loses complete control of who may view the image next.

Even if the first recipient was a trusted person at the time, it doesn't mean the image won't be forwarded onto others in the future.

Senior Constable David Lemalu, a school-based police officer at Toolooa and Gladstone state high schools, said there seemed to be a sense of ambivalence amongst young people about whether sexting was right or not.

This was characterised by the victim often saying no initially because they thought it wasn't right, then changing their minds. 

"In many instances the victims didn't feel pressured, but instead made comments like, 'I really liked them', 'We were going out and it felt right then' and 'It wasn't that big a deal, we were going out'," Sen Const Lemalu said.

"This to me shows ignorance of the consequences or complete disregard for them.

"What young people fail to understand is that the potential consequences are far-reaching - the image has the potential to travel around their school, community, the world.

"The victims become targets for ridicule and bullying, sexual harassment and abuse, which may in turn lead to poor self-esteem and self-image, isolating behaviours, truancy or avoidance of school, eating disorders and self-harm."

For the person forwarding or taking the images, sexting is a criminal activity.

Taking a sexual image of a minor under the age of 16 and sending it is classed as creating, possessing and distributing child exploitation material, even if the person committing the offence is a child.

In cases where the offender is also the victim, police  take all necessary and reasonable steps to investigate, and all victims and offenders are dealt with accordingly.

Police say the greatest safeguard against sexting is parent education and support for young people.

Parents can help their children by:

  • Talking through the consequences of sexting, both posing for or taking selfies and storing or sending them.
  • Making them fully aware that once an image is sent, it can't be retrieved, and once an image is posted online, they will never be able to fully delete it.
  • Regularly viewing or discussing with their child the various sites and contacts being viewed or contact made.

Topics:  editors picks gladstone police mobile phones sexting


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Council: desex your pet

RIGHT DECISION: Pete Stoneman, his sons and their three dogs, CQ Pet Rescue president Susan Consedine and council ranger John Sykes.

Find out how you can get discounted desexing for your pet.

Nominate your business today

TNC Cranes and H.E.M.E. were jointly crowned 2015 Central Highlands Business ofthe Year.

Central Highlands Business Excellence Awards nominations are open.

Called upon to share his faith

IN SERVICE: Reverend Jim Pearson in his office reflecting on Anzac Day. Rev Pearson led the prayers at the Emerald services.

Uniting Church minister reflects on Anzac Day

Local Partners

Ice trafficker cops death threat, then jail

Gladstone woman remanded in custody for her own safety after death threat from bikie is jailed for trafficking ice

Toowoomba woman's Africa trip to share song

HERE TO HELP: Women in Harmony music director Elaine Coates (right) will travel to Uganda later this year to work with the African Children's Choir. Former members of the choir travelled to Toowoomba to perform last year incuding Elizabeth Panga (left) and tour manager Abraham Kiyingi.

A Toowoomba woman is preparing for a trip of a lifetime

Hundreds of cars going for bargain at record Coast auction

Mike Clayton at the Nambour car yard in the lead-up to a previous year's sale.

Impounded cars going under the hammer, no reserves

Moranbah mum hopes to turn The Voice red chairs

Moranbah's Brooke Schubert has auditioned for this season's The Voice.

Mackay pub favourite Brooke Schubert auditions for The Voice.

Anthony LaPaglia steps out with new fiancee

Screen legend Anthony LaPaglia has confirmed his engagement to his much younger girlfriend, Alexandra Henkel

Ronan Keating a dad for fourth time

Ronan Keating and Storm Keating.

Bouncing baby boy for Boyzone star

Lion King remake well under way

Seth Rogen.

More Lion King remake cast members revealed

Splendour auctions VIP passes for flood appeal

Crowd at Splendour in the Grass 2016.  Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Each pass will have a reserve price of $500

The pic that could cost Khloe Kardashian $200k

Khloe Kardashian has admitted she "loves" watching porn, but doesn't think her family are famous purely because of her sister Kim Kardashian West's sex tape.

Khloe Kardashian has been slapped with a $A200,750 lawsuit

Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme dies

Director Jonathan Demme, 73, has died of cancer. He is pictured here attending the premiere of "Song One" in New York.

TRIBUTES have poured in for the Oscar-winning director.

Falling rents could spell doom for housing prices

What if I told you housing in Australia was getting cheaper?

Couple gets rich renovating run-down city homes

RENO RADICALS: Baden and Nelson Marino-Hall have turned three Toowoomba homes around for profit, saying the Garden City was a haven for renovators like themselves.

The couple has already turned around three homes

Townhouse pitch raises questions over 'high density'

BIG PLANS: Residents have a chance to offer their opinion on plans to build 42 townhouses at Raceview.

Developer plans 42 townhouses for Ipswich suburb

7 million dollar city homes for sale right now

3 Keira Court, Blue Mountain Heights.

Here are seven of Toowoomba's best, and most expensive, houses

'Raping and pillaging': Landlord's anger with nightmare cost

Chris Duane, who is chairman of the body corporate for Terralina Court, says insurance companies are charging too much for premiums.

BODY corporate boss unleashes on huge costs dumped on home owners.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!